Foie gras and marinated duck leg

This dish is from Périgord.

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Foie gras chaud aux raisins

Yes, duck’s liver isn’t exactly a pretty thing to look at. But with clever plating and some shiny peeled grapes, one can almost forget about the whole force-feeding-a-duck-corn ordeal.

Though I really don’t like foie gras, I am really happy with this dish.

January 27th, 2017

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Duck breast with citrus jus and spinach mousse

This dish is from Aquitaine again, specifically Landes d’Armagnac.

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Filet de Canard aux Agrumes, Mousse d’Epinards

This dish was yet another fun addition to my repertoire. The ends of the duck breast should have be trimmed prior to plating, but c’est la vie. This dish is garnished with crisp potato gaufrettes, orange segments, and duck jus with orange zest julienne.

January 27th, 2017

 

Filet boeuf and garlic velouté soup

This dish is from Aquitaine: Bordeaux.

It’s a traditional garlic velouté soup that the French tend to enjoy after a night of drinking, similar to French onion soup.

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Tourin blanchit à l’ail

I also cooked this beef filet with red wine sauce, sautéed mushrooms and potatoes.

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Filet boeuf avec maître de chai, champignons à la bordelaise et pommes de terre noisette (Parisienne)

Here’s another angle for texture and height perspective:

 

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Beef fillet with red wine sauce, garlic-and-parsley mushrooms (persillade) and potato rounds

These are the first dishes I’ve cooked all semester that I truly enjoyed and felt proud of cooking!

January 27th, 2017

Pigeon chartreuse

This dish is from Poitou-Charentes.

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Pigeon chartreuse

I promise this is what it’s supposed to look like. What is it exactly? Let’s cut into it and I’ll show you:

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This is roasted pigeon’s breast, stuffed inside a chicken’s breast, layered with braised cabbage and garnished with a circle of cabbage, peas, green beans, carrots, turnips and zucchini julienne.

The dishes I’m making are getting more bizarre, more difficult, and worst of all, less appetizing. It’s a damn shame when even I wouldn’t eat what I cook.

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Though this recipe is actually one of my most difficult challenges, this dish looks like something a kid would make.

January 20th, 2017

Prune-stuffed pork tenderloin and upside-down apple pie

This dish is from the Val de Loire as well, in Touraine.

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Filet de porc aux pruneaux, champignons de Paris farcis et pommes de terre dauphine

Yep, this is half of a pork tenderloin, stuffed with diced prunes; interspersed with potato hush puppies and “embellished” with stuffed mushrooms and a saucier of jus.

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In case you’re wondering, I don’t come up with the plating for dishes. I am instructed to recreate what my chef demonstrates.

Also, here is a traditional French upside-down apple pie I made:

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Tarte tatin

In French, it is called a Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin, or tarte tatin for short.

January 19th, 2017

 

 

Hot Cointreau soufflé

This dish is from Val de Loire: Anjou.

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Soufflé chaud au Cointreau

Soufflés are actually really not that difficult, but cooking them in a dead oven with no window or oven light makes it a game of prayer.

I also made an Anjou-style stewed trout with braised Boston lettuce in this class, but it was honestly just so unappetizing that I didn’t bother taking a nice photograph of it.

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Laitue braisée, truite étuvée 

Okay yeah, there’s some hand-cut fillets of trout surrounding it on the plate, but smack-dab in the center there is this. This, you see, is an entire head of Boston lettuce, braised down to a sickly-dark green pulp the size of toonie.

In my humble opinion, the soufflé was much more fun to make.

January 19th, 2017

 

Lobster with cauliflower gratin

These dishes are from Bretagne.

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Gratin de choux fleurs

The cauliflower was alright. I had to remake my mornay sauce for it though and got a lot of flak for it.

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Homard à l’Armoricaine

I cut the lobster’s head too far back and it ended up splitting in half. My sauce also split due to the excess of oil. The one thing I needed to split – the claws – couldn’t be done because I don’t have much upper body strength.

Classes like this make me think I’m really not cut out for this. Stabbing a lobster in the head made me sick to my stomach. Even worse, this dish came out terribly.

Sigh. Another lobster died for no reason.

January 16th, 2017